The Spleen

What art thou, SPLEEN, which ev'ry thing dost ape?
Thou Proteus to abus'd Mankind,
Who never yet thy real Cause cou'd find,
Or fix thee to remain in one continued Shape.
Still varying thy perplexing Form,
Now a Dead Sea thou'lt represent,
A Calm of stupid Discontent,
Then, dashing on the Rocks wilt rage into a Storm.
Trembling sometimes thou dost appear,
Dissolv'd into a Panick Fear;
On Sleep intruding dost thy Shadows spread,
Thy gloomy Terrours round the silent Bed,


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The Spiritual Canticle

I
THE BRIDE

Where have You hidden Yourself,
And abandoned me in my groaning, O my Beloved?
You have fled like the hart,
Having wounded me.
I ran after You, crying; but You were gone.

II
O shepherds, you who go
Through the sheepcots up the hill,
If you shall see Him
Whom I love the most,
Tell Him I languish, suffer, and die.

III
In search of my Love
I will go over mountains and strands;
I will gather no flowers,
I will fear no wild beasts;


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The Sphinx

In a dim corner of my room for longer than
my fancy thinks
A beautiful and silent Sphinx has watched me
through the shifting gloom.

Inviolate and immobile she does not rise she
does not stir
For silver moons are naught to her and naught
to her the suns that reel.

Red follows grey across the air, the waves of
moonlight ebb and flow
But with the Dawn she does not go and in the
night-time she is there.

Dawn follows Dawn and Nights grow old and
all the while this curious cat


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The Speeches of Sloth and Virtue

[Upon the Plan of Xenophen's Judgment of Hercules]

SLOTH

Hither, dear Boy, direct thy wandring Eyes,
'Tis here the lovely Vale of Pleasure lies.
Debate no more -- to me thy self resign;
Her mossy Caves, her Groves, and all are mine.
For me the Goddess opes her various Pow'r,
Springs in a Tree, or blossoms in a Flow'r:
To please my Ear she breaths celestial Strains:
To please my Eye, with Lillies strews the Plains:
To form my Couch in mossy Beds she grows:
To gratify my Smell she blooms a Rose.


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The Song Of The Camp-Fire

Heed me, feed me, I am hungry, I am red-tongued with desire;
Boughs of balsam, slabs of cedar, gummy fagots of the pine,
Heap them on me, let me hug them to my eager heart of fire,
Roaring, soaring up to heaven as a symbol and a sign.
Bring me knots of sunny maple, silver birch and tamarack;
Leaping, sweeping, I will lap them with my ardent wings of flame;
I will kindle them to glory, I will beat the darkness back;
Streaming, gleaming, I will goad them to my glory and my fame.


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The Son Of The Evening Star

Can it be the sun descending
O'er the level plain of water?
Or the Red Swan floating, flying,
Wounded by the magic arrow,
Staining all the waves with crimson,
With the crimson of its life-blood,
Filling all the air with splendor,
With the splendor of its plumage?
Yes; it is the sun descending,
Sinking down into the water;
All the sky is stained with purple,
All the water flushed with crimson!
No; it is the Red Swan floating,
Diving down beneath the water;


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The Song of Yesterday

I
But yesterday
I looked away
O'er happy lands, where sunshine lay
In golden blots,
Inlaid with spots
Of shade and wild forget-me-nots.

My head was fair
With flaxen hair,
And fragrant breezes, faint and rare,
And, warm with drouth
From out the south,
Blew all my curls across my mouth.

And, cool and sweet,
My naked feet
Found dewy pathways through the wheat;
And out again
Where, down the lane,
The dust was dimpled with the rain.

II


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The Song of the Strange Ascetic

If I had been a Heathen,
I'd have praised the purple vine,
My slaves should dig the vineyards,
And I would drink the wine.
But Higgins is a Heathen,
And his slaves grow lean and grey,
That he may drink some tepid milk
Exactly twice a day.

If I had been a Heathen,
I'd have crowned Neaera's curls,
And filled my life with love affairs,
My house with dancing girls;
But Higgins is a Heathen,
And to lecture rooms is forced,
Where his aunts, who are not married,
Demand to be divorced.


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The Song of Songs

The Bride and the Daughters of Jerusalem

The Song of songs, which is Solomon's.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth:
for thy love is better than wine.
Because of the savor of thy good ointments
thy name is as ointment poured forth,
therefore do the virgins love thee.

Draw me, we will run after thee:
the King hath brought me into his chambers:
we will be glad and rejoice in thee,
we will remember thy love more than wine:
the upright love thee.


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The Shepheardes Calender April

APRILL: Ægloga QuartaTHENOT & HOBBINOLL
Tell me good Hobbinoll, what garres thee greete?
What? hath some Wolfe thy tender Lambes ytorne?
Or is thy Bagpype broke, that soundes so sweete?
Or art thou of thy loved lasse forlorne?

Or bene thine eyes attempred to the yeare,
Quenching the gasping furrowes thirst with rayne?
Like April shoure, so stremes the trickling teares
Adowne thy cheeke, to quenche thy thristye payne.

HOBBINOLL


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